In our speech room we use it to work on:
- Parts of speech
- Multiple meanings
- Expanding vocabulary
Happy Monday Morning! I know many of you have started summer by now, but here in San Diego school is still going strong. As the regular year starts to wind down I really start to look at ways to maintain skills over the summer, and giving families ideas about great apps that are fun and still educational is a favorite tip of mine. I think when you can bring a family together by playing a game and maintain skills- its a homer for everyone One of my favorite ways to work on parts of speech, semantic relationships, and multiple meanings is Mad Libs. This free app is a fun new way to use Mad Libs with students- and a MAJOR bonus you can do them more than once, sometimes we compare our first run to second using screen shots or email.
After you choose a story the app prompts you with the parts of speech. You enter them one by one and create a quintessential, crazy MadLibs story.
Once you have completed the story you can share it or just enjoy as a group!
In our speech room we use it to work on:
Supporting Written Communication
Sorry this post is coming to you a little late- I think all this holiday travel is starting to get to me ;).
As an SLP who focuses primarily on students with complex communication needs, how to best support written communication has always been something I've needed to enlist some help with to do well. It comes up often and I used to feel really puzzled about where to start and what would really be the most beneficial path for my kiddos.
One of the first places I undoubtedly turn is this book. It's a totally comprehensive source that runs the gamut from creative writing to professional letters and documents. I love that it breaks different kinds of writing- stories, essays, business letters- down into digestible pieces. It also covers things like combining sentences and revising your work. I love that it organizes writing into organizational strategies, writing strategies, and revision strategies. This one is a life-saver for sure.
I also love that app Story Grammar Marker. As its name implies, this focuses more on stories and creating a complete narrative. It allows your students to draw, write, or record their ideas while prompting the next piece of story grammar- characters, setting, ect. This one is great for the students who are inherently motivated to do anything so long as you have the iPad out as well!
Lastly, when I feel totally stuck I always turn to TeacherPayTeachers and search grade leveled rubrics. This has been such a valuable resource for students (and me!). I don't have any children nor have I spent any time in a typical classroom, I found myself totally at a loss for what a 2nd grader or a 6th grader should really be able to do as far as writing abilities. Also, I wasn't sure if their work needed some help, was just good enough, or if it was exceptional. These rubrics offered me the guidance I needed to take their writing to the next level and allowed my higher functioning students a way to pre-correct and monitor their own progress.
Hope these tips help next time you feel a little stuck with writing!
Happy holiday week!
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, by Linda Williams
This book is definitely a Fall favorite of ours. It is thematic without referencing any holidays, it has a recurring series of phrases that are easily paired with motions, and the fun follow-up activities can be catered to support a variety of goals. This Fall, I have been using the book in the clinic with children 1:1, but I've also had success with it in preschool groups in the school setting. If you haven't read the book yet, here's the basic plot: a little old lady - who isn't afraid of anything - goes into the woods to gather items and ends up walking home rather late. She is startled to see two shoes in her path, going CLOMP, CLOMP (I pair this with tapping my hands on the table, or stomping my feet if reading to a circle). The little old lady directs the shoes to get out of her way because she is not afraid of them, and keeps walking only to hear the shoes clomping behind her. As she walks home, she encounters a sequence of items in a similar way...
When I'm reading the story for the first time, I don't ask the kids to participate but try to create anticipation to see if they join in on their own - and they usually do. After the little old lady arrives home, there are a few more opportunities to go through the sequence in its entirety. *Spoiler alert* when they aren't able to scare her, the little old lady helps the items find a collective purpose by suggesting that they arrange themselves into a scarecrow for her garden.
I like to program language for my recurring activities into my own tablet. I have the iPad with TouchChat, but that is just one of many great options (for more info on finding the right set up for you, check out this post). For this story, I used a 4x4 grid and programmed in the language that children seem to be the most drawn to: the 6 items and their 6 actions, "get out of my way", and "I am not afraid of you." Here's what I ended up with:
*Check back next Tuesday for AAC programming tips inspired by this page!!
Art - I like to have the children color the pictures in, and we discuss things in a number of different ways depending on their specific goals. In the example below, we were working on negation. We used a piece of paper creased into 6 sections (fold in half lengthwise, then into thirds). The first section had the target written as a carrier phrase, and we practiced it with each of the items. I use similar set ups to practice sequencing the story by the order in which the little old lady encountered each item, and for semantic pairings (the noun went action, action). For other kids (executive function, following directions, etc.), we arranged and glued the images onto an un-creased piece of paper to make a scarecrow.
Pumpkin heads - This year at the clinic, we ordered miniature pumpkins and stick-on foam faces to make jack-o-lanterns for the kids to take home. This is quick, fun, and the kids love it! If you aren't in a position to send home pumpkins with everyone, you can always break out the gourds from earlier in the month and make amazing play dough pumpkin faces (the artist of this face placed the mouth on top of the pumpkin :)).
Shake your sillies out - This can be done before or after the reading. I typically do it before, as it can help some kids to sit down and focus for the whole book. There's also an argument that it primes them for the book by engaging them in music, play, and incorporating a number of the action words about to be highlighted in the story. The live concert of Raffi, who I believe is the Dr. Seuss of children's music, is the video I use.
We'd love to hear how you use the book in your practice in the comment section!
"You're never too old, too wackey, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child" - Theodor Seuss Geisel
Molly and Larissa are speech-language pathologists in San Diego, CA, who are looking to share inventive, inclusive, fun ideas for developing communication. This is also their platform for highlighting the many amazing people and resources in the community.